Mirrors and Faces

COOPER COLE is pleased to present Mirrors and Faces, a solo presentation of the work of Hangama Amiri. This is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery.

In this new body of work, Amiri reflects on questions of ‘home’ and memory after migration. Amiri’s penetrating observations of her domestic space opens up into the emotive and imaginative aspects of cultural memory, touching on feelings of loneliness, isolation, love, intimacy, and longing. She elaborates on these inquiries with fantastical elements such as foliage, birds, tears, and spilled wine, overlaid and overflowing out of the images, visualizing a weaving of internal dialogues with lived experience.

While the artist was creating this work and reflecting on her experience as an Afghan woman in the United States, feelings of loss and mourning quickly deepened as her new country of residence retreated from their occupation in Afghanistan and Amiri’s hometown of Kabul was taken over by the Taliban. The artist’s examination of internal conflict and physical confinement took on new dimensions. In Wounded Deer, Amiri depicts herself looking at an arrow that is aimed at her eyes, at the same time as it punctures a deer on its side. Set in a swirling, surreal landscape, this work expresses the artist’s feelings of vulnerability and betrayal as an Afghan woman. Her works are large in scale, negotiating desires to occupy, dominate, and assert power.

Trained in painting, Amiri takes a painterly approach to her textile compositions. Sourcing most of her materials from an Afghan-owned store in New York’s fashion district, the artist looks for fabrics as one would look for oils and acrylics. Colour, texture, and composition remain central, but Amiri’s interest in textile is rooted in the medium’s flexibility, functionality, and intimacy. Textile, according to the artist, awakens the senses because of its relationship to the body, insinuations of touch, and its ability to carry memories.

Hangama Amiri (b. 1989, Kabul, Afghanistan) works predominantly in textile to create images that reflect on ideas of home. Using a painterly approach to colour and materials, Amiri reflects on how everyday objects are imbued with cultural memory. Amiri holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was a Canadian Fulbright and Post-Graduate Fellow at Yale University School of Art and Sciences, and has completed residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Joya AiR Residency Program in Almería, Spain, World of CO Residency program in Sofia, Bulgaria, and at Long Road Projects in Jacksonville, Florida. Amiri won the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteerism Award and the 2013 Portia White Protege Award. She has exhibited internationally at T293 Gallery, Rome; Laurie Swim Gallery, Lunenburg; the New Museum, New York; Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Banff; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Paramo Gallery, Guadalajara; and Charles Moffett Gallery, New York; among others. Amiri lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

In Conversation: Hangama Amiri and Muheb Esmat

Artworks

Hangama Amiri

The Labyrinths of Love

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The Labyrinths of Love, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, net mesh, colour pencil, and found fabric

H.Amiri0011

40" X 30"
101.6cm X 76.2cm

Hangama Amiri

What the Water Told Me

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What the Water Told Me, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, and silk

H.Amiri0009

62.5" X 48"
158.75cm X 121.92cm

Hangama Amiri

The Lovers II / Him and I

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The Lovers II / Him and I, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, net mesh, velvet, suede, and found fabric

H.Amiri0007

57" X 66"
144.78cm X 167.64cm

Hangama Amiri

The Pillar of Time

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The Pillar of Time, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, and suede

H.Amiri0008

53" X 72"
134.62cm X 182.88cm

Hangama Amiri

The Fallen Dream

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The Fallen Dream, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, and silk

H.Amiri0005

69.5" X 56"
176.53cm X 142.24cm

Hangama Amiri

The Lovers I / The Chanting Storks, 2021

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The Lovers I / The Chanting Storks, 2021

Chiffon muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, acrylic paint, suede, and found fabric

H.Amiri0006

69" X 78"
175.26cm X 198.12cm

Hangama Amiri

Self-portrait with the Croton Petra Plants

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Self-portrait with the Croton Petra Plants, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, velvet, net mesh, colour pencil, and found fabric

H.Amiri0004

80" X 58"
203.2cm X 147.32cm

Hangama Amiri

Wounded Deer

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Wounded Deer, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, suede, net mesh, and found fabric

H.Amiri0002

98" X 75"
248.92cm X 190.5cm

Hangama Amiri

Late by Myself

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Late by Myself, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, suede, and colour pencil

H.Amiri0003

92" X 79"
233.68cm X 200.66cm

Hangama Amiri

The Wonders of the Night

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The Wonders of the Night, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, net mesh, suede, velvet, and found fabric

H.Amiri0001

122" X 107"
309.88cm X 271.78cm

Hangama Amiri

Self-portrait with Tooti Parrot

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Self-portrait with Tooti Parrot, 2021

Chiffon, muslin, cotton, polyester, silk, net mesh, suede, colour pencil, velvet, and found fabric

H.Amiri0010

58.5" X 44.5"
148.59cm X 113.03cm